Category : Teens

6 Freaky Books Based on True Stories

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

A good scary story sends chills down your spine. A true one keeps you up at all night.
Are you up for a frightening reading challenge this Halloween season? Here are six books based on freaky true stories:

1. Dead Mountain by Donnie Eicher (Adult Non-Fiction)

Join Donnie Eicher as he uncovers the mysterious deaths of nine Russian hikers in the Ural Mountains in 1959.
Investigators discovered the hikers’ tents were open from the inside, their belongings left behind. Whatever happened to the hikers remains a mystery to this day. For some reason, their clothes show signs of radiation exposure.

2. Deliver Us From Evil by Ralph Sarchie (Adult Non-Fiction)

You might remember the movie with the same title premiered in 2014. While the film was completely fictional, Ralph Sarchie’s demons were not. The former NYPD officer still performs exorcisms (for free).

3. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Adult Non-Fiction)

H.H. Holmes invited guests to his hotel and they never checked out. His infamous “murder castle” had built-in torture rooms, trap doors, and acid vats. The victims’ skeletons were sold to medical supply companies. Makes you think twice about your next hotel reservation.

4. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (Adult Fiction)

William Blatty’s inspiration for The Exorcist came from two exorcists’ case of Ronald Hunkeler. Hunkeler showed signs of demon possession after playing with a Ouija board (bad move from the start). His St. Louis home still stands today. No demons have been sighted.

5. Norman by Stephen Lancaster (Adult Non-Fiction)

Add Norman to your list of creepy dolls to avoid along with Chucky and Annabelle. Paranormal investigator Stephen Lancaster finds Norman at an antique shop. Unknowingly, he has purchased a doll haunted by an unborn child.

6. The Terror by Dan Simmons (Adult Fiction)

While Sir John Franklin’s 1845 arctic expedition features a monster stalking him and his crew, the real history is a darker tale.

Franklin and his crew never returned from the voyage alive. Rumors of mutiny, poison, and cannibalism added fuel to the mystery. Franklin’s ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror weren’t found until the 21st century. Even then, no further evidence of Franklin’s whereabouts.

If you’re craving more chills and thrills, search through our library catalog’s horror collection.

 

How to Fund Your Dreams

Submitted by Ashley Melonson

Nearly every high school student has heard the sage advice, that in order to fulfill their life and career ambitions, they must head to college. However, with the rising rates of tuition, what once seemed like an easy given has become a pricey, daunting decision. Mountain Park’s How to Fund Your Dreams program will enlighten you on how you can make your aspirations for a first-rate education a reality.

Hal Wilkinson, a representative of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, will offer illuminating information on financial resources for prospective students. The How to Fund Your Dreams program will go over more than well-known financial assistance programs, like HOPE and FAFSA. It will also delve into unconventional scholarships, from a plethora of organizations, that celebrate the diversity and varied interests of college applicants.

No matter where you are in your search for college financial aid, How to Fund Your Dreams can provide insight on how to reach your goals.

Come join us at this spectacular event, being held at the Mountain Park branch, on October 29th at 4 PM.

LGBTQ Resources @ Your Library

Submitted by Mack Freeman

October is LGBT History Month, and Atlanta just got done celebrating both Atlanta Pride and National Coming Out Day. Gwinnett County Public Library is proud to support everyone in our community. Public libraries have an ethos that makes them open to all, no matter their sexual orientation or gender expression. Whether you’re looking for LGBTQ-related information for yourself or for someone else, Gwinnett County Public Library is here to help.

The library has numerous LGBTQ books available for all ages in our collection. You can browse the collection online or in-person at your neighborhood branch. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, grab a library team member, and they can help you find something that’s exactly right for you. You can also find items that may be of interest in our digital collections on Libby and Flipster (magazines).

One resource that’s especially useful for those interested in LGBTQ topics is the EBSCO Ebook collection available through GALILEO. With over 2,000 titles related to LGBTQ topics, this resource covers everything from LGBTQ oral history to youth issues to health concerns and so much more. This database is consistently updated with new titles, and every item is available 24/7 whether the library is open or not.

If there are any in-depth topics related to LGBTQ issues you’re looking into, don’t forget that you can Book a Librarian. Book a Librarian sessions typically run for about 45 minutes, and they offer 1-on-1 assistance on any of your research needs. Researching LGBTQ issues can be tough. For instance, did you know that many search engines and databases will return different results for gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, GLBT, LGBT, GLBTQ, and LGBTQ? A database sometimes isn’t smart enough to link all of these things together, but a librarian can help make sure that nothing you’re looking for is falling through the cracks.

Not seeing what you’re looking for? Contact your local branch and talk with the team there about what sorts of programs and services you’d like to see in your area. If you’d rather submit your comments digitally, you can submit suggestions for the collection and program ideas digitally. Gwinnett County Public Library is a reflection of our community, but we need your help to make sure we are offering exactly what you want.

Memoir Writing Workshops at the Peachtree Corners Branch

Submitted by Kelsey Simon

Recently, local best-selling author Fran Stewart, has been hosting sessions of a memoir class at the Peachtree Corners branch. Her classes focus on you–your memories, your experiences, and how you can find ways to begin translating those memories onto paper.

There couldn’t have been a better time of year for Fran to host her classes. The weather has begun changing, the trees have started to brown and lose their leaves. I don’t know about anyone else, but fall makes me excited for the coming holidays, and with thoughts of holidays, inevitably comes thoughts of family.

We each have a history. Whether that history is good, bad, or a complex mix of both and everything in between, is for each of us to decide. No matter who you are, or where you come from, your identity is tied to your memories–and those memories are a story.

I realize the words memoir and story might be scary. Most people don’t consider themselves writers. But has your mother ever told you a story about her childhood? Or your family friend ever shared a funny anecdote with you about something they did in a sticky situation? Telling stories is writing too–but instead of using our hands to put words down on paper, we use our mouths and our memories.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer. You don’t have to have written anything before. You could just be thinking about the past, thinking about who you are and the things that have made you that way. Fran’s writing class on memoirs is far less about the writing–it’s more about learning how to remember, how to find a way to jot down memories that might otherwise escape you.  

If you’d like to attend the last two sessions of Fran Stewart’s class on memoirs, come join us at the Peachtree Corners branch on Sunday, October 28th at 1:00, and Sunday, November 4th at 1:00. It’s okay if you didn’t attend the first two–there’s always something new to learn.

LGBTQ+ Books in Honor of Atlanta Pride

Submitted by Dru Hill 

This past weekend, Gwinnett County Public Library participated in the Atlanta Pride Festival. We set up a booth in the heart of Piedmont Park and brought a button maker, crafts, and lots of enthusiasm. Our amazing children’s librarians offered storytimes throughout the weekend and joyfully shared their love of the library, along with the entire community that we serve. We try to ensure that our resources, programs, and collection reflect the diversity that we see all around us and, to that end, we came up with a short list of LGBTQ+ titles in honor of Pride Week. No matter who you are, there’s something in the library for you. Check out one of these amazing titles today!

 

For Kids:

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel

George by Alex Gino

Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights, with 21 Activities by Jerome Pohlen

 

For Teens:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community by Robin Stevenson

 

For Adults:

The ABCs of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell

Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism

For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

 

You can find all these titles and more in the library’s catalog.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses

Submitted by Jon Freeman

Halloween is just around the corner. Many kids, teenagers, and adults will be dressing up in costumes to celebrate. Whether you’re planning to cap off a Halloween costume with a pair of cat-eye lenses, get the big-eye look of circle lenses, or switch your eye color from blue to violet for the day, cosmetic contacts — contact lenses meant to change the way your eye looks rather than correct your vision — may seem like just another fashion accessory.

But did you know that wearing decorative or cosmetic contact lenses that are obtained without a prescription can be risky? According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Wearing any kind of contact lenses, including decorative or cosmetic ones, can cause serious damage to your eyes if the lenses are obtained without a prescription or not used correctly.” Contact lenses need to fit your eye correctly. If they don’t, or if they aren’t used and cared for properly, they can cause serious damage to your eyes. What kind of damage? Things like infection, decreased vision, scratches to the cornea, conjunctivitis (pink eye), or even blindness.

To learn more about this issue feel free to read a recent article about it from the FDA’s website by clicking here.

Want to be an Early Investor?

Submitted by Jon Freeman

Are you a young person in your twenties or teens? If you are then you may have heard that it is beneficial to start investing when you are young. Perhaps you really want to get started investing, but are unsure where to start.

The Early Investor: How Teens and Young Adults Can Become Wealthy may be a book for you. The Early Investor is a book aimed at teens and young adults that covers the basics of investing. The book starts in the first chapter answering the question, “What is Investing?” It also includes sections on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. The Early Investor contains information about different types of investment accounts and how to manage your investment portfolio. It is written by a former teacher named Michael W. Zisa, who became a financial advisor after spending years teaching high school mathematics. His experience as a financial advisor for adults and a high school teacher of teens puts him in a unique spot to write this type of a book aimed at teens and young adults. The book also includes charts and tables to help explain points and concepts. Feel free to check this book out from your local Gwinnett County Public Library.

You can find more personal finance information and resources on the Gwinnett Library’s GCPL Personal Finance Guide.

10 “Banned Books” You Will Find in GCPL

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Every year, hundreds of books are challenged due to “offensive content” ranging from vulgar language to anti-government propaganda. The American Library Assocation (ALA) annually lists the top 10 challenged books. Last year’s list included Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Book censorship can dramatically shape how libraries function. Imagine stepping into a library with barely any books on bookshelves. A strange sight, right? That won’t be the case for GCPL.

Here are ten “banned books” you will find here:

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Teen Fiction)
-Banned for sexual content, profanity, vulgarity, and racism.

2. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson (Easy Fiction)
-Banned for characters in a same-sex relationship (even though it’s based on a true story).

3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Graphic Novel)
-Banned for featuring LGBTQ+ characters

4. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Adult Non-Fiction)
-Banned for sexual violence, alcohol use, and explicit language

5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Adult Fiction)
-Banned for profanity, violence, strong sexual content, and “Anti-Christian” themes.

6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Teen Fiction)
-Banned for police violence, racism, sexual references, and drug use.

7. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel (Juvenile Non-Fiction)
-Banned for featuring a transgender character

8. Operation Dark Heart by Anthony Shaffer (Adult Non-Fiction)
-Banned for containing sensitive US government information

9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Teen Fiction)
-Banned for suicidal content

10. The Witches by Roald Dahl (Juvenile Fiction)
-Banned for witchcraft, violence against children, and misogyny.

GCPL is also hosting “Banned Books: Book Talk” for ages 11-18 at the Collins Hill Branch. The program starts on September 25, 2018 at 5:30pm.

Click here to find more banned books in the GCPL catalog.

 

8 Amazing Facts About Your Favorite Comic Superheroes

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

How much do you know about your favorite superheroes? Did you know Superman spent 15,000 years in the sun? Tony Stark is the first human to use the Infinity Gauntlet!
Want to know more? Here are eight amazing facts about your favorite comic superheroes:

1. John Constantine has a miserable life. His mother died in childbirth, he lived under his abusive father, and his friends’ spirits haunt him. Talk about a bad break!

2. Doctor Strange wasn’t the only sorcerer supreme candidate. Loki, Storm, Ghost Rider, Magik, Scarlet Witch, and Doctor Doom were other possible choices.

3. The Teenage Mutant Turtles almost had a Bernini. TMNT creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman originally planned Asian names for their turtle ninjas, but it was too obvious. Turning to their love of art history, they named the turtles after famous Renaissance artists. Bernini was one of them, but the creators scraped it for not being an o ending name.

4. Hellboy almost became a DC comic hero, but DC comics rejected the idea due to the character’s fiery origins.

5. The Rocketeer had a hard time becoming a movie. Many major movie studios rejected the comic until it finally landed with Disney and there were constant creative conflicts. After all that trouble, the film still bombed in the box office.

6. The Hulk was grey. Colorist Stan Goldberg had a hard time keeping up with the Hulk’s color consistency. Green worked out better, and it became permament.

7. The Avengers formed the Illuminati to prevent the world from further extraterrestrial dangers after the Kree-Skrull War. Its members included Black Bolt, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. Black Panther left the group due to internal conflicts.

8. Batman became the God of Knowledge. After the epic battle between Darkseid and Anti-Matter, Batman and other members of the Justice League gained godlike powers. Batman used his newly-gained supreme intellect to find his parents’ killer and learn the Joker’s real name.

Start reading the comics today:
Constantine
Doctor Strange
Hellboy
Hulk
Justice League
The New Avengers
The Rocketeer
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Chipper Jones – Ballplayer

Submitted by Jon Freeman

Earlier this year Chipper Jones was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. During his time with the Atlanta Braves he was the 1999 National League Most Valuable Player, and also won a batting title in 2008 when he hit .364 while also leading the National League in on-base percentage with a mark of .470. At the end of his 19 years in the big leagues – all with the Braves – Jones had totaled 2,726 hits, 468 home runs and more walks (1,512) than strikeouts (1,409). He was named to eight All-Star Games and finished in the Top 10 of the National League MVP voting five times.

Jones is one of only nine players in big league history with at least 400 home runs, a .300 average, a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging average. His 1,623 RBI are the most of any player whose primary position was third base. But before Chipper Jones amassed these Hall of Fame worthy statistics during his career with the Atlanta Braves, he was a country boy from a small town in Florida who played baseball in the backyard with his dad and dreamed of the major leagues. In his recent autobiography, Ballplayer, Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career. Beginning with learning the art of switch-hitting and being the number one overall pick for the Braves in the 1990 draft, Jones takes us into the clubhouse of the Braves’ extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last division win in 2005. Along the way, he delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and the famous Braves brothers – Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz – and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds, his overnight rise to super stardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame, his spirited rivalry with the Mets, and his reflections on modern baseball and his special last season in 2012.

To find out more about the Chipper’s life on and off the baseball diamond check out his autobiography from the Gwinnett County Library’s catalog here.